Jam Packed Iceland Trip
Forty pupils from across Senior Girls, Senior Boys and Sixth Form left for Iceland on Tuesday 31 October and embarked on a jam-packed geographical adventure.
Miss Sarah Clifford, Geography Teacher wrote the following report:
The first day was spent visiting the ‘Bridge Between Continents’, and we were able to walk from the Eurasian plate to the Northern American plate by walking over (and through!) the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which is evidence of the two plates pulling apart from each other and creating new land. We also visited the Reykjanes Peninsula where we visited the oldest lighthouse on the island and looked at the unique coastline, being able to see Mt Valahnukur which was created by a single volcanic eruption. Further along our route was the Gunnuhver and Reykjanes Geothermal Power Station and it was explained to the pupils how tectonic activity of the island is used for energy. We then took a small walk amongst the mud pools and steam vents, getting close to some tectonic activity.
The second day was spent exploring the beautiful waterfalls of Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss, which we were able to walk behind. It was so cold that the water was freezing to ice instantly on the stairs and walkways! We drove through the area which was affected by the 2010 Eyjafallajokull eruption to the Visitor Centre and were able to watch a documentary about the eruption and the impacts it had on the local community, focusing on the family at the Thorvaldseyri Farm. We continued our drive to Solheimajokull which translates to the "sun house glacier" which has been retreating by 100m since the end of the 1800s (much smaller than when I visited it two years ago!). We walked through some of the glacier, with views which were absolutely breathtaking. Mr Small enjoyed the next part of the day as it included some of the locations used for Game of Thrones, visiting the basalt columns at the black volcanic beach of Reynishverfi, before watching the sun start to set over Dryholaey.
Day three saw us start the day by driving to the Secret Lagoon and we spent time relaxing in the hot geothermal pools which was a welcome sight after the cold weather. We carried on to Gulfoss which is a double falls drop of 33 metres and plunges into a mile-long gorge. The next stop on our trip was the Geysir where we saw the spouting hot spring "Strokkur", before heading to Efstidalur Dairy Farm because it is never too cold to try Icelandic ice cream! The final stop of the day was Thingverllir, the National Park where Parliament was established in 930AD and straddles the Mid-Atlantic Ridge with a stunning rift valley. During the evening we visited the city centre of Reykjavik to have dinner at the Hamburger Factory which was delicious!
Our final day was still filled with a vast array of activity before we headed to the airport. Our guide took us sightseeing in the capital city, visiting the stunning Hallgrimskirkja Church, concert hall and City Hall. Our final stop was the Perlan which is a futuristic building composed of circular tanks, containing the city's heated water reserves. We climbed to the top of the building and took in the views from the rooftop of the scenery around us.
Overall, the trip was very successful with pupils being able to witness geographical processes at work, which will increase their understanding of some of the topics being taught across the GCSE and A Level curriculums.
All the photos are in our gallery.